10 Practical Strategies for De-Cluttering Your Life and Home

declutter your life pic

I regularly do a talk called De-Clutter Your Life at a local Family Counselling Centre in London, Ontario.  At one time I put together a list of strategies to help people to De-Clutter Their Lives (in general) so speaking to a wide range of audience members.   I never really know who will come out to this talk and I think that the topic of De-Clutter Your Life can appeal to anyone and all of us who can relate to having some clutter in our lives whether it is physical or emotional.

I have been invited to attend a small women’s group tomorrow (mostly Spanish speaking women) by my co-worker who is Spanish and can interpret when we run into trouble.  I attended another (Spanish speaking) group last week and I have to say most of the women do not have serious clutter issues.  They can relate to having clutter and have some great tips but they speak very warmly about their homes and how they keep them.  They place a lot of value on cleaning and cooking and keeping their homes nice.

So,  tomorrow I will offer this second group some questions to get the conversation going:

1. What are some of the challenges that you have with clutter?

2. Why do you think you have physical clutter/emotional clutter?

3. What are the pros/cons of making some changes?

4. What are some ways that help you to stay motivated?

5. What are your tips for de-cluttering?

6. What is one thing that you will do differently after today?

and I will hand this out as well 🙂  I hope it goes well.

Tips for De-cluttering your Life

  1. Spend some time alone everyday and think about what is important in your life. Set priorities and then break these down into goals/tasks that are doable for the month, week, day.  Focus on what is most important to you.
  2. Don’t bring in the mail. Flyers and junk mail can be put right into the recycling bin.  Get rid of everything except for the items that you need to take Action or To File.
  3. Always have a ready for donation box or bag. As you come across things you don’t love or don’t use they can go directly into the box for donation.  This can become a great habit.  Also, a good idea to get these out to the car or taken directly to the charity of your choice as soon as possible.
  4. Don’t buy it!! Become aware of your shopping and acquiring habits. A lot of us tend to go shopping as a pastime and end up purchasing items that are not needed and end up not being used, shoved in the closet/drawer, tags still on, etc.  If you do not need or love it don’t buy it!!
  5. Only watch good tv or read good books!!  Cancel newspaper or magazine subscriptions unless you love them and they enhance your life.  If not, they are just costing you money and taking up space.  Think about making a list of what you don’t want and/or are no longer willing to put up with.  Your time is valuable.  Use it wisely!!
  6. Streamline your social networks and/or email, etc. You can opt out of emails that you are receiving in your inbox that you don’t have an interest in or do not seem to make time for.
  7. Say NO to things that matter less. Focus on the priorities in your life and set boundaries with others.  Think about whether it is important to you and then you can make a choice about taking it on or not.  Become more clear about what you are willing to allow in your life.  State your limits.
  8. Downsize Your Closet – Limit Your Hangers!! They say that 80% of the time we wear the same 20% of our clothing.  Keep the clothes that you love and that fit well.  Donate or discard everything else.   Let others enjoy what you are not using.
  9. Decide to have less stuff!! The less stuff you have, the easier it is to get organized and stay organized.  Buy less.  Get rid of more.  Less stuff means less clutter which means more clarity in your life.
  10. Think about how you can “feng shui” your home – open windows, burn candles or incense, move the furniture around, get the energy moving…..get rid of the clutter and make space for something new.

I hope the group will go well and they will be able to implement some of these tips.  What do you think?  Do you think these tips are good for the general population?  Do you have some amazing tips you would add?  I would love to hear from you.

 

 

About Kimberley

I am a Case Manager at My Sisters’ Place which is a program of the Canadian Mental Health Association London Middlesex. My Sisters’ Place is a program for vulnerable women. I love my job and all the wonderful women I work with. I am very honored to do this work with women who have been through so much and are so open in sharing their stories.
I initiated and designed a Clearing Clutter Support Group which I have been facilitating since 2007 with a co-worker. I love running this group and learn so much from the participants. We offer this eight week program three or four times a year.
I started my business Space For You in 2010 and work with individuals in their homes as well as offer some workshops in the community. I am available to speak to groups on “De-Cluttering Your Life”, “The Magic of De-Cluttering”, “Space Clearing” or really anything to do with clutter and hoarding.

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12 Responses to 10 Practical Strategies for De-Cluttering Your Life and Home

  1. Seana Turner says:

    Great list of questions… I think you and I were on the same wavelength this week!

    • Kimberley says:

      Thanks Seana, Yes, we were!! Great minds think alike. I loved how you phrased your tips and may use your method in the future if you are okay with that. 🙂

  2. Ellen Delap says:

    Your first tip is powerful. How often do we sit or pause to think about what we really want? Without this first step our “road map” is not ready. We don’t have a vision or compelling reason to create change. Thanks!

    • Kimberley says:

      thanks Ellen – that is so true!! It is funny though as I did attend the group today and it turned out that the women were mostly Arabic and young moms with babies and many children. One very young woman had seven children and one at her breast. Anyway, when I mentioned this tip I had to say how hard this is to do when you are in demand and especially with many little ones demanding your attention.

  3. Judy Rickey says:

    You made some great points Kim. The only other one I can think of is set aside time every week in your schedule for maintaining your spaces so they will not get out of control. If you make an appointment with yourself you might actually do it. 🙂

    • Kimberley says:

      Hi Judy, So great to hear from you. Maintenance is so important and one that is often overlooked especially with our CD clients. I love the idea of making an appointment with yourself. Thanks so much for your comment.

  4. dana casey says:

    a great list for all. i hope the spanish group you present to is a success. and, i like that you mention feng shui on this list! dana

    • Kimberley says:

      Hi Dana,
      I love Feng Shui and would love to do more training in this. I talked about it with this group who had never heard of it. lol Anyway, it ended up being a group of mostly young women who are Arabic. They were so interesting and warmed up after a short while. I don’t think they have major clutter issues but there was a lively discussion about shopping, clothes, shoes and purses as well as shopping for their children (and they have many children). I have now been asked to come and speak to another group which is mostly Canadian women I was told but hey, I could be surprised. Thanks for commenting Dana 🙂

  5. Sabrina Q. says:

    Great post! How did the meeting go? I love these questions. You should consider creating images with them and adding them to social media pages. People would appreciate them. They are great questions to ponder. I love the tips, especially ” Say no to things that matter less.” It’s a grea motto for anyone needing to downsize. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kimberley says:

      Thank you so much Sabrina 🙂 Yes, the group went well. It was interesting as I didn’t know what to expect and as it turned out, it is a group of mostly younger women who are Arabic with many young children. They did warm up and we had a great discussion and I think they liked the questions. They all came up with an action at the end of the session and seemed to be inspired. I have been asked to come back and speak to another (new to me group) and back to this group in the fall. It is amazing what I learned from them as well.

  6. I second the tip about always having a donation box at the ready! It’s especially good to keep one in your clothing closet. Such a comprehensive list of questions! Thank you for posting.

    • Kimberley says:

      Thank you Sarah – I appreciate your comment. Yes, I love that tip too and generally call it “the exit strategy”

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